Effects of Encumbrance

Encumbrance has two basic effects. First, it reduces your character's movement rate. If encumbrance categories are used, Unencumbered has no effect on movement, Light reduces the movement rate by 1/3 (round fractions down), Moderate reduces it by , Heavy reduces it by 2/3, and Severe lowers the movement rate to 1. If the optional system is used, the character's movement rate is reduced to the amount found by using Table 48. The movement rate determines how far your character can move in a round, turn, hour, and day. As his movement rate gets lower, your character moves slower and slower. See Movement in Chapter 14: Time and Movement for more details.

Encumbrance also reduces your character's combat abilities. If encumbrance reduces your character to of his normal movement rate, he suffers a -1 penalty to his attack roll. If he is reduced to 1/3 or less of his normal movement rate, the attack penalty is -2 and there is an additional AC penalty of +1. If your character's movement is reduced to 1, the attack roll penalty is -4 and the AC penalty is +3. Clearly, the wise thing for a heavily encumbered character to do is to quickly drop most of his gear before entering battle.

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